By Christina Wichmann
Who hasn’t perused Giada cookbooks or clipped out magazine recipes while envisioning the wonderful flavors??
We try our best to work out and make careful food choices. But then kids, work, daily schedules, and other of life’s speed bumps pop up in front of the best intentions. Most of the time, dinner is far less glamorous than the gourmet meal imagined.
A lot of people want to eat healthier and lose a few pounds, so Main & Luxe wants to get you on the right footing this year!
We tried three meal delivery services to make your life easier and healthier. Not the meal kits that you cook yourself; these are the ones that come prepared and just need to be heated up for two minutes. They are a great option because they checked all the boxes: food that’s convenient, delicious, and good for our bodies. Fully prepared meals are delivered cold and can be put in the refrigerator for later or popped in the microwave for dinner that night.
All we tried are available for ordering online. Look for special holiday and new year pricing right now. And to get the “Giada-look,” simply move from the container onto a plate complete with a linen napkin!
Meal Village—Local, Same-Day Delivery
Offers a large menu that changes daily featuring individual entrees, salads, children’s meals, side dishes, and desserts. The culinary team prepares the meals from scratch in their Naperville-based commercial kitchen. Meals can be ordered same day or up to five days in advance.
Meal Village delivers Monday through Friday, and the weekly menu is posted on their website. Meal Village is not considered diet food, but meals are portioned at 600–800 calories. The menu also allows family members to choose their own meals.
My family and I had kid activities between 5—7 pm one night. Meal Village delivered our dinner at 3:30 pm. After working a full day, all I had to do was heat up the lasagna with steamed broccoli for two kids and give the third her fresh veggies and ranch dip. The kids ate (their whole dinner!) at 4:30, and we arrived at the activities on time.
-Pan roasted salmon with garlic mashed potatoes and green beans
-Beef pot roast with roasted carrots, pearl onions, and red potatoes
-Pretzel crusted chicken with seasoned potato wedges and lemon broccoli
-Grilled Hawaiian shrimp bowl with charred pineapple
Meal Village requires no minimum order, subscription, or contract. All prices are discounted based on advance ordering; otherwise, regular price for same-day ordering. Individual entree portions begin at $7.20 with 24-hour discount.
Splendid Spoon—Plant-based, Gluten-free
This New York–based company delivers nationwide. They market themselves as plans to help you create healthy eating habits. Customers order a weekly box of food (customizable) that is delivered on dry ice. All meals are plant-based, gluten-free, and non-GMO. The meal choices comprise a selection of 19 smoothies, 33 soup and grain bowls, 10 noodle bowls, and 6 light soups. I purchased the breakfast, lunch, reset box. It includes five smoothies (for breakfast), five bowls (for lunch), and five light soups for the reset day. The meals are very nourishing and made with high-quality ingredients. The company doesn’t promise weight loss, but the meals are packed with stomach-filling fiber that satisfies.
-Dragon fruit berry smoothie with pineapple juice and chia seeds
-White bean and tomato grain bowl with kale and fennel ragu
-Carrot lentil curry soup with coconut milk and celery
-Creamy mushroom and spinach noodles with peas Cost:
Splendid Spoon is a subscription service, but customers can skip weeks or cancel anytime. There are three weekly plans (based on six days): breakfast ($65); breakfast, lunch, reset ($135); or breakfast, lunch, dinner, reset ($185).
Factor (Formerly Factor 75)—Nutrition Consultation Included
Factor’s goal is to help people achieve real results without sacrificing time and energy trying to sort through overwhelming amounts of nutrition and diet information. The meals are grass-fed, pasture-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free, gluten-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and have no added sugars.
A complimentary nutrition consultation with a registered dietitian is available to help customers choose meals and meet health goals. The company is based in Chicago and delivers to Naperville.
Our founder, Ashley South, and her family tried this one. The meals come every Wednesday in a box with large recyclable ice packs and thick insulation. Each meal has the nutrition information listed, including macros. Factor also provides each recipe online for those Giada dreams you cannot seem to get out of your head!
-Sun-dried tomato chicken with zucchini noodles
-Mushroom gravy turkey with mashed cauliflower, celery root puree, and green beans
-Tomato and goat cheese cavatappi primavera with roasted garlic green beans
-Keto mushroom burger with roasted kale and tomatoes
Factor is also a subscription service where customers can pause, cancel, or change their plans at any time. Factor offers discounts based on order size. Meals range from $11 to $15, depending on size of order. For example, the 8-meal plan Ashley ordered was $69 with applied discounts. Standard pricing, the 4-meal plan is $60; an 18-meal plan is $198.